Stocks waver in early trading, holding near record highs

Stocks wavered in morning trading and hovered near record highs as investors remain hopeful but cautious about the economic recovery.

Vaccine distribution has been ramping up and President Joe Biden has bumped up his deadline for states to make doses available to all adults by April 19. The vaccines are helping to fuel a recovery, but the virus is still very much a threat as variants are discovered and threaten additional lockdowns.

The S&P 500 edged up 0.1%, with technology companies doing most of the heavy pulling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points, or 0.1%, to 33,451 and the Nasdaq rose 0.1% as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to 1.66% from 1.65% late Tuesday. Rising yields have raised some concerns about inflation and its potential to stunt the economic recovery.

Traders will be looking ahead to the release later in the day of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting on interest rate policy to watch for clues about the Fed’s thinking about the economy and how long it might wait before eventually raising rates.

The broader market has been mostly subdued since the S&P 500 reached another record high on Monday. Stocks within the index are just about evenly split between gainers and losers.

Analysts expect the recovery to continue, but they also expect the market remain choppy as investors shift money to companies and industries that stand to benefit from as the pandemic eases.

Carnival, which essentially shut down during the pandemic, rose 6.6%. Other cruise line operators also gained ground as they plan to restart operations.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 edged 0.1% higher, Germany’s DAX fell 0.2%, and Britain’s FTSE rose 1.1%. Markets in Asia were mixed.